Friday, September 5, 2014

On and on it goes

Life is in full swing right now. (well, not right now, because I am laying on the couch writing this, but at this general time, it is).

We leave for 3 weeks in Europe in less than 3 weeks! We spent all day Weds shopping (it was brutal) and I still didn't find jeans I love and need a couple more shirts. David, however, is totally done with his entire wardrobe. I hate him a little bit.

The house is moving along. The subfloors are all in, we put some paint up on the walls, and now we are waiting for my dad to help install and spray the trim and doors and then I can start the floors! We are trying to be hopeful about getting it done, but my Dad has started Nursing School and so things are just moving a bit slower. Once he helps install the doors and paints the trim, I think we are going to be able to do everything else ourselves, tho! Yippeeee!

Albus is still adorable. Can't believe we have had him a year! Love him and can't wait to move into our new house and for him to have a fenced back yard and lots of trails to go walking on! Yipeeeee!

Thursday, August 21, 2014

Its not a project unless it makes itself into 100 times more work.

Soooooooo yeah. We still aren't in the house. Why? We have to replace the flooring. Why? Because they were more damaged than we thought. GREEEAT. Just another expensive, unforeseen expense from moving the wall. Yaaay.

So we are bleeding money and time, but whatever. Its fine. I am about to make dinner for David, then go meet someone about a little job/project, then go to the house and cut all around the perimeter of the rooms so that on Friday Night, David and I can have date night i.e.: pulling up all the floors. Fun times, right? Then next week we have to hire someone to come dig out a crawl space under the house, put that dirt somewhere (we are thinking of building a retaining wall?) and then add a plywood subfloor. Yeah, no subfloors in 90 year old houses. Awesome. 1k just in plywood.

The hardwood is supposed to be here next Saturday, then it has to sit for a week before I can install it. During THAT week, I am going to try to get all the painting done. Then install the hardwoods. Then move all our stuff over. Then go to Europe for 3 weeks. Then move in.


The good news is, we are going to have seamless hardwoods in all the rooms except the kitchen and the bathroom, we will have a subfloor which means we will have a comfortable, way more energy efficient house, and we will have a crawl space for any future plumbing or whatever that has to get done.

Oh yeah, we found a dog and puppies under the house the other day and took them to the shelter. David then covered the hole with bricks (that were around a tree for no apparent reason). Hopefully we don't find anything else hiding out under there.

It will all be worth it in the end. It will all be worth it in the end. It will all be worth it in the end.

Sunday, July 27, 2014

Headgame

SOOOO we bought a house! Haha. How is that for skipping over the past 4 months?

Lemme tell you about it. (Novel follows)

3 bedroom, 1 bath.  1,200ish sq feet. It was built in 1924. It was redone (really cheaply) in December and had been on the market for 6 months. It has original hardwoods that are patched all kinds of a horrible, but we are fixing them and they will look perfect in all the rooms except for the back bedroom, which will eventually be redone with a bathroom to be the master.  We had to sacrifice that flooring to patch the rest of the house. Different flooring will be installed once we figure out/save for the bathroom addition. For now, the back bedroom will be my cake room and have beautiful plywood flooring! Haha. But doing it this way will also allow us to even out the floors in that bedroom, because we can't fix the foundation in that area b/c of the bathroom (which is shares a wall with) so win/win!

We have already moved a wall to switch the living room and the front bedroom, making a small bedroom for our bedroom that will be soundproofed with special sheetrock that cost an arm and a leg so that David can have a nice sleeping cave for his vampire sleeping hours and I can actually watch TV or cook while he is asleep. Moving the wall also made the living room gigantic. I don't know if any houses built in the 20's had a living room this big. It was a stupidly big bedroom, but had a big closet taking up a ton of space. We don't really understand the layout of the house - we have been trying to figure out as we take apart walls and stuff what the heck the function of stuff has been but still don't really have a good idea! There are two front doors, and there are several duplex's in the area, but it was built as a single family and only has one bathroom and kitchen and the hardwoods are original in the two front rooms that we think were connected by a doorway at one time, so it is a mystery! But as is, we have a really good size living room (every time I have looked at it since we moved the wall I have had a slight freak out about how awesome it will be!) and 2 small bedrooms (the back bedroom is pretty small, but we think will work well as the master, as long as they don't have a king bed) and one pretty good sized bedroom that we will be using as the guest room! The bathroom is my favorite room in the house, except the vanity! So that will eventually be replaced as well.

This week, my Dad and I are finishing the electrical and the sheet rocking, the A/C guy is coming to move a vent and a pipe outside, they are coming to work on the foundation (they did a bunch of stuff last year, and we have a warrantee on it) to even out some floors and then the texture guys are coming next Monday, and then the floors guys will come after we get back from Minnesota to refinish the hardwoods that I am going to repair before the come with the wood from the back bedroom!

We closed on the 21st of July and are hoping to move in on the 25th of August!

We started going to our new ward today. LOTS of young couples, I think we will have good friends! We are apparently one of just a very small handful of homeowners in the ward - everyone else lives in this huge apartment complex called the Village or in other apartments in Deep Ellum or such. Lots of newly graduated ppl and a lot of students. Small youth, big primary and bigger nursery. A lot like Irving but WAAAAAAY bigger. They filled up the entire chapel and overflow and the gym! It was nuts.

My most favorite thing about the house is the area it is in. We are 3 minutes from Whole Foods. 6 minutes from Trader Joes. 7 mins from the church building. 10 mins from Central Market. 8 mins from Sam's club. 12 mins from my Roller Derby rink (oh yeah, I started doing that!). And the biggest selling factor was the proximity to White Rock lake. It is so close and I am so excited to live next to it! We are 3 miles (about 7 mins by car - 21 mins by bike!) from The Arboretum. The Santa Fe Trail, which opened in 2011, is a block West of us and goes all the way from Deep Ellum up to White Rock, and then White Rock lake of course has a trail that goes all the way around it. Two blocks west of us (after you pass the community garden!!!!) there is the Samuell Grand Park, which is a 78 (!!) acre park that has everything!!! It is where they hold Shakespeare in the park! They have 20 tennis courts, basketball courts, soccer fields, and an awesome, newly remodeled Rec center with a billion community programs and basically my dream life is coming true.  Haha.

Our actual neighborhood, Mount Auburn, is "gentrifying" which is a nice way of saying it is sort of the ghetto but it is getting nicer. We are one block south of Hollywood Heights, which is one of my favorite neighborhoods in Dallas (it is where I would love to buy our forever house after David is done with Grad school!) - it has tudor style homes form the 20's and 30's with fantastic yards. It is a historic preservation district. The reason we bought in Mount Auburn is because 1) Despite what the bank said, we couldn't afford to spend what it would have cost to live in Hollywood Heights and 2) I really do think Mount Auburn is getting MUCH nicer! It was just announced last month that the elementary school we are districted for is turning into a Montessori school (which will be run like a charter school, I guess - so public, but selective?) and as Dallas improved the trails and rec center and everything down by us recently, I do think that in the next 5-10 years, the most ghetto houses in the neighborhood will get sold and redone. I have my eye on the duplex across the street from us - it is def the UGLIEST house on our street, but would be awesome redone and I am just the girl to do it!

We have already met our next door neighbor (we are on a corner) and he is super nice. He is at the tail end of a 2 year renovation on his house, owns a Pizza joint right across from Fair Park, and fosters rescue beagles! Still have to meet the rest of the neighbors, but that will come!

Basically, our goal is to be in Dallas 2-3 more years before going to Grad School and then we will rent out this house while we are in Grad school, come back, live in it for a few years until we pay off our student loans, then move up into Hollywood Heights or another Dallas neighborhood.

My camera is at the house, but I took before pictures! I will take some during photos tomorrow, and the after photos, of course, will come as well!


Sunday, March 30, 2014

Choking

So, this one time, I was in Whole Foods. I was walking around at my leisure (I will often take an hour to grocery shop, just wandering and looking at stuff and backtracking a million times. Its my zen place), talking on the phone with I don't remember who, and partaking in all the awesome samples of fresh fruit and veggies and random food they have going on. I grabbed a kiwi, which was surprisingly almost the entire piece of fruit, just peeled, and popped it right into my mouth.

I then proceeded to breathe it down my windpipe, where it became lodged and began to suffocate me.

I could not breathe. I couldn't speak. All I could make was these choking sounds because as it turned out, that is what I was doing. Choking.

I have the wherewithal to put my phone down on the ledge of one of the fruit stands - my friend who I am on the phone with keeps talking and doesn't even notice my absence. I signaled to people around me that I was choking. Did these people NOT learn the universal symbol for choking in school? I know there is a poster somewhere in this store giving an example. I am making eye contact with these people. I know they know what I am trying to say. The employees just look at me, panic growing in their eyes. There are about 10 people that can see what is going on in the area. All of them looking at me. None of them taking a step towards me. They are afraid of me. Afraid of the fact that I am dying, right there in front of them.

As the panic starts to take hold, I look around, pleading with my eyes for someone to help me. At some point, it dawns on me that no one is going to. Either from the lack of knowledge of the very simple himleich menuver that will save my life, or from the panic and fear that is keeping them rooted to the spot. When I realize this, my mind spins. I start to run scenarios around in my head about what would happen if I died. I remove my hands from around my neck, since making the sign is doing me no good, and begin to press into my stomach with my fists.

It doesn't work. I am still choking.

Have you ever tried to hold your breath underwater? We used to have contests as kids. I would usually win, because I was really good at calming the panic that would come when you ran out of oxygen. All of my pool training at oxygen deprivation begins to kick in and I am eerily calm.

I think of all the safety videos we had to watch as a lifeguard. I think that really, they say to just punch yourself to get it out. I keep trying. It keeps not working.

Finally, somehow my brain tells me to ram myself up against one of the fruit stands. So I do. I fall against it, and the Kiwi (still almost whole) shoots out of my throat and across the produce section. I take in a huge breath. Everyone immediately stops staring and goes about their business of grocery shopping. No one even asks me if I'm okay.

I pick my phone back up try to tell my friend what happened, but they don't even really comprehend. What seemed like an eternity to me was probably in all reality only a few seconds to them.

This is what it feels like for me to be depressed. No one can really help me. They have to watch, in horror, as I choke to death on my own self pity and doubt. The Kiwi can be something as simple as spending too much money on groceries that sends me into a choking tailspin that feels like I am about to die. Sometimes, it is a commercial on TV that makes me dry weep until the choking feeling comes back again. Other times, it is just being lonely and missing David while he is working. Or dealing with an annoyed clint. Or feeling the time slip away late into the night as I work on a cake instead of sleeping. The choking feeling comes, it stays a while. Sometimes, I figure out how to shove myself against a good book, or go on a walk, or watch a funny movie or whatever to get it to go away quickly. Most of the time, it stays for a while.

It is funny, being depressed. I can still laugh and talk and probably no one knows most of the time. In fact, some of my best friends probably have no idea. It isn't like people understand if you are a generally functioning human being who isn't crying all the time, but you are still depressed. It is just this odd thing.

I hate it. I want it gone. But just like choking, no one can help me. I have to dislodge whatever the heck this is myself. And I can. And I will. It is just taking time.

Friday, March 21, 2014

On Fighting

So I keep thinking back about when David and I had been married about a year. We were living in Utah, in our little house, and we always had friends over. We were like, party central. People came over to eat, to study, to watch movies - whatever. We had a comfy couch and no curfew rules.

Anyways, one night David and I had gotten into some disagreement (over who knows what) and were both mad at each other, and it just so happened that I had a couple of friends over at the time. If anyone knows me, they know I am not a very private person, so I felt no need to hide our "fight" from my friends. For one of my friends, it really really upset her that we were fighting, but I could not for the life of me understand why she was so upset because while I was angry, I was also not like, unusually pissed off or anything. I am just a very passionate person and so my small disagreements most likely look pretty heated to most people - which you would expect one of my close friends would realize, but whatever.  I just couldn't understand her view and I think it was because I never viewed disagreeing passionately about something as a negative thing.

The point of this is to say I have been thinking a lot about fighting and the roles it plays in relationships. I don't know if I have ever met a couple that never disagrees or fights, but I HAVE met a lot of couples who don't face their issues head on. And to me, not fighting when there is actually something to fight about is way worse than just having it out and being done with it. That is something I am actually really good at - if I am allowed to get something off my chest and a person will talk it out with me, I can let it go pretty quickly. I can't think of any bloggable circumstances of this, but let me assure you there are many. But for some reason, many people view the fact that I like to talk about things even when things are heated as a bad thing, and I just won't ever get that. They think that I am pushing things or being a jerk or whatever, but I just want to get the fight over and done. I don't want to be passive aggressive for weeks after, I don't want to be cautiously civil, I just want to yell and argue and then hug it out. Done.

Anyways, I feel like David and I have a pretty healthy fighting relationship. I think that when we have something that bugs us, we address it. Yes, my voice is usually raised, but we aren't ever rude to each other, or call names, or whatever, we are just loud. And I will take being loud over being mean spirited any day of the week.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Deal With It

There is so much in this life that we just cannot understand or explain. So many things that just don't add up. You studied for 17 hours for a test and still didn't pass.You worked really hard and are still in debt up to your eyeballs. You did everything you could and still have a failed marriage. You never smoked and yet got lung cancer. You went to school and can't find a good job. You eat right and exercise and you still don't have to body you want. You have a great life and are happy, and yet you are depressed.

It is this last one I want to talk about today. Because it is that one that is basically ruling my life right now.

So, when we first got married, I went though this massive 8 month period of intense depression. I had crazy insomnia, I was eating everything in sight, and I cried every day (not in front of David, of course). I'm not really sure why it started. Looking back, I do know it was building for almost half of the time we were engaged. And I know that there wasn't one event that triggered it. I know it wasn't David's fault. I just know that I was depressed so very very much that first bit of our marriage. Which is why I will tell everyone that our marriage SUCKED that first year. It wasn't so much that we fought (we did, but about dumb things like naming our kids George) or that we didn't get a long, it was that I was so incredibly depressed that I had trouble getting out of bed for more than 4 hours a day. David likes to reminisce about how clean the house was back then, but it was because I would just stay in bed, in my little nest of blankets and covers and read blogs or books and avoid anything having to do with the responsibilities that I had.  I tried some medication (thumbs down), I tried some therapy, and while therapy helped a bit, I don't really think talking to someone a handful of times is what made me feel better. In fact, I can't pinpoint a reason at all. All I know is that one day, I was driving home from work and the sky looked blue again and I could feel how happy my favorite songs on the radio made me feel again. And every day felt better and better. I would have days here and there of the sadness coming back, of the feeling of overwhelming tiredness or just the general foggy feeling, but it hasn't ever been as bad as it was those first 8 months we were married.

Until now.

I am back to this place. And I have no idea what got me here. I have figured out what foods make my body feel awful and avoid them for the most part. I have started to exercise and feel the strength of my body again. I have gone on great trips with my husband. I have a great group of really good friends - the best I have ever had, in fact. And I am at the best place in my marriage I think I have ever been. I don't really understand what is going on or why, I just know I feel like my chest is caving in and all I want to do is sleep, sleep, sleep, but I can't fall asleep and I just am so tired. And yet I am doing all the right things. I am eating right. I am exercising. I am interacting with friends. I find purpose in my work life. I am doing everything everyone says you should do to "beat" depression and yet here it sits, my constant companion, nagging me to just put on my PJs and snuggle my dog on the couch. It just doesn't add it. And at least this time, I have the self awareness and the experience to know that this is what it is - that it isn't that I don't love David or that I am not happy with my life, it is depression.

I have been weepy a lot. I have been feeling, aching, needing to not be alone. So I go over to friends houses and stay too late. I creepily look though old pictures of me and David. I have been reading books with friendship and romance at the center of the plot lines. I have been laughing and smiling and generally trying to make my way though these once-charted waters that are slowly, but surely, drowning me. But I know I can make it this time. I have done it before. I have swam though the water and made it out alive.

Lets just hope it doesn't take as long this time.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

And he doesn't look a day over 26!

So some husband of mine just had a birthday last week! We were cruisin on the Atlantic, so I didn't get a chance to write some sappy blog post, so here is a short one:

He is the best. AND ALL MINE.

Here is a longer one:

Guys, the most important thing to me in a husband, from the time I was very young, was that he was a hard worker. The reasons for this are many, but mostly because 1) I knew that a good marriage was hard work and I wanted someone who could be a partner in marriage with me, not just a bystander and 2) I am materialistic about clothes and furniture and love to travel, and having a husband who made decent money was important to me. I know I will get flack for saying that, but I was never down with being poor, even for love! You can choose who you choose to date, and if you date people who are okay with being in poverty, then you risk marrying that! I never dated anyone who I couldn't see building a future with, and that included having a nice home, traveling, and staying at home with my kids when they were little. Now, making out with people was a different story, but that is for a post that isn't about my husband.

ANYWAYS, I always knew that David would work hard, I could see it from some of the choices he had made in his life to that point, but I figured that he would just be a generally decent worker. Like, he would work hard, but I never knew just HOW HARD he was capable of working! This past year of his life, he has certainly shown me exactly what he is made of. He started his actual career this year! He is a nurse! And while yes, he only works 3 days a week at his main Methodist job, he usually works more like 5 days a week between overtime and Scottish Rite and other things. And he had to switch between days and nights for those jobs, which makes it even worse. Last summer he worked every day for over 40 days. Every. Day. Not a single day off. For over a month. He was also the Elders Quorum President for our high-needs ward, and a husband to a high-needs wife. In addition to doing laundry, cleaning up after dinner, and not strangling me for being a lazy git, he also has been going to school to get his Bachelor's degree! He will be done this year (as long as dates all line up like we think they will) and I am so proud that even though it has taken him far longer to get a BS degree than we ever ever imagined when we got engaged and had our life planned out, it was absolutely the best thing we could have done and decided for our future. I look at my 5 year plans from 7 years ago and giggle, because we are no where near where I thought we would be, and yet we are so much better off.

God has plans, and we always end up where we are supposed to be.

If you had told me that I would be going on year 4 of living with my parents, that I wouldn't have a degree or a normal 9-5 job, that I would have a puppy and no kids at the age of 26 I would have probably laughed at you. But oh, how glad I am that all of these things are true. And they are true because of David.

What other man would not only live with his inlaws for 4 years, but love them and befriend them, and see them some weeks more than his wife? What other man would be okay with his wife taking her sweet time with finishing her degree when she is SO CLOSE because he understands her utter hatred of being graded on things she will never use in her real life? What other man would let his wife try out a million different career paths and odd jobs and let her try to make a living off of these things while he works at an incredibly demanding and stressful job? What man would understand his wife's need for travel over children at this point in her life? What other man would actually put up with me and give me this awesome life I now have?

No one, that's who. Which is why I am making David stay with me forever.

We have heard time and time again from friends, coworkers, random people we just met, etc that we are SO LUCKY to be able to travel as much as we do, to have me "not work", have tickets to events, etc but it turns out we have CHOSEN this life and MADE IT HAPPEN. Luck had nothing to do with the lifestyle we live now. We don't have car payments, we don't have fancy cars and as a result we have really cheap car insurance. We live someplace we love and is huge, but someplace where our rent is extremely affordable. I don't get to buy the furniture I want or make all the stylistic choices I would in my own home, but we also didn't have to pay for furnishings and other things we would have to if we bought a house. We have random members of my family in our house at random times or when we have friends over, but we also have someone to watch Albus while we travel. We have nice phones, but the cheapest phone plans possible. Yeah, we bought a nice big TV, but we used a $25 TV from DI for 5 years first. The nice computer we bought last year? Yeah, also our first computer purchase of our marriage. We used a broken laptop for years before that. We don't go out a ton (we do go out a bit, of course, while we are in between trips) and when we do, it is mostly to dinner and we come home and watch a movie instead of paying $20 or more to go see it in a theater. We don't have credit card debt. We save for big purchases. We eat good food from good sources, yes, but I am careful about what I buy and how much and always conscious of our food budget. We do not buy a lot of clothes, or shoes, and I have 1 pair of jeans that fit. We cultivate friendships, we network, and we put ourselves out there when it comes to having a place to stay when we travel to cool places, making it affordable and actually more fun (the locals always know the best places to go!) when we travel. The biggest reason we can do what we do is because we have chosen it. We have prioritized having this part of our life right now by weighing the pros and cons, and having our relationship being constantly strengthened by new experiences and grown by days and days of undisturbed time with each other filled with new places and foods come out on top of everything else.

We got to this point in our lives by hard work. I think that the fact that we got married probably had more luck to do with it than anything, but we could have gotten divorced at many points in the last 5 1/2 years, but we worked, HARD, to make our marriage good and strong and full of fun and love and happiness. We have both learned how to serve one another, we have both learned how to shut up when the other has had enough, and we have both learned how to care for one another in the ways that count. And we needed that. I needed that. I have needed 5 1/2 years of David's constant love and support to help me grow to be a person who can maybe, someday, have a baby to love and raise with him. I have needed 5 1/2 years of marriage with him to be able to trust in another person so explicitly that I would be okay with the idea of raising said baby with him and him not leaving me one day. I have needed 5 1/2 years of his constant attention, love and devotion to prove to me that I am what he wants. I know that I am great, but I needed this time to prove that I am great for HIM. Which I think I am, at this point.

I hate that I feel like I have to make excuses or explanations for our life, but we have heard "When will you have kids" a million times in the past 5 1/2 years, and the past year has actually been a million times worse. David has a real job and we don't have any more "excuses" But guess what? I am not going to apologize for my life choices, or the fact that David is right there with me in them. Because this is OUR life. And its awesome. And when we have kids, we will be ready. And when we are parents we will be united by our years of togetherness. And if it turns out we don't have kids, we will fully understand just how full and wonderful our life is with each other, and while I'm sure there will be a mourning period if that were to happen, how glad I am that I have the experience to know that David and I will be okay.

And guess what? Whatever happens, it will be really really really hard work. And I have the best partner by my side to do it all.

David is the most giving, caring person I have ever met. He constantly put others needs above his own. He will let me go comfort a friend on his day off instead of spending the one night he has off with me. He always asks me for my opinion on everything, from his work schedule, to him going out with friends, to everything in between, and truly listens and factors in what I have to say in the matter to his decisions. He doesn't get angry or bitter towards me when I disagree with him, and if I ask him to do something other than what he had planned, he is on board and doesn't harbor resentment that his plans got changed. He is my exactly opposite in that he thinks the best of people, and he doesn't let me go too far down the rabbit hole in talking about how much I hate everyone. He is gentle in his rebukes, he is loving in his criticism, and he is honest in his compliments. He helps me be a good person. And he stands up for me even when I'm being a bad one. I can say without a doubt he is going to be the best Father on the whole planet, when the time comes. And I know that he is a great nurse, a wonderful husband, and a fantastic student.

I just can't say enough good things about this guy who I married. And I will keep saying it every year for his birthday, because then at least one day a year he gets to hear what I don't say enough. I love him, I don't deserve him, and I am never letting him go.